Kitab Al-Kindi Universalism

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Early Islamic humanists put a great deal of importance into the acquisition and dispersion of knowledge. However, there comes to be alteration in the meaning of knowledge through the years and what the term exactly entails. Viewing the description of knowledge from the conservative perspective of the Hadith scholars and then from the collective epistemology of al-Kindi demonstrates this transition. Eventually this largely impacts the universalism of Islamic philosophy and the search for the ultimate reality within Muslim scripture.
The first source that mentions the value of knowledge is the XIX. Kitab al-‘Ilm: [Book of Knowledge] with commentary by Sunan Abu Dawud. This excerpt is from the Hadith which is defined as the account of the sayings
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On the subject he writes “For even if they have fallen short of the truth, they have been our collaborators and associates in offering us some fruits of their thought, which have become for us paths and instruments that lead to extensive knowledge of things whose truth they did not know” (211). Here al-Kindi is being flexible to both methods of gaining knowledge; he states that neither is false. Even when one does not make its way to the ultimate truth they do open up many other fields of thought that eventually lead way into the larger truth. It is the many, small contributions in this case that count, and that al-Kindi appreciates. Taking into consideration his stance on Greek philosophers, he was highly in favor of, but due to religious beliefs he could not fully support if he wanted to garner support from the caliphs. He returns to the same subject emboldened when saying “We must not be ashamed to admire the truth or to acquire it, from wherever it comes. Even if it should come from far-flung nations and foreign peoples, there is for the student of nothing more important than the truth….” (212). It is clear that al-Kindi is largely in favor of the works of different cultures, particularly the Greeks, and this claim is a true sign of the universalism of his ideas. He is careful and does not deem them completely true due to the political atmosphere, but in doing so he maintains some objectivity rather than seeming overtly biased. However, he does fit this into his previously stated method of acquiring knowledge, and demonstrates that every bit of knowledge is worthwhile and

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